A mum of two managed to clear airport security and fly to Germany – using her one-year-old son’s passport.
Lenesha Riley flew from Luton to Berlin with easyJet using her toddler son Josiah’s passport after she packed it by mistake and used it to board a flight.
The 33-year-old masters student had no idea she was using her son’s passport until she got it out for a security check in Berlin – despite it having been scanned at the departure gate in Luton.
“It’s scary to think that I got through,” she said.
“God knows who else could do this too.”
It’s not the first time a Brit has faced problems due to a passport mix-up – last year Allan Poole flew from Prague to the UK on the wrong passport after accidentally taking his friend’s, leaving him stranded in the Czech capital.
Lenesha said: “I feel very lucky but the staff at Luton didn’t check the passport properly.
“It’s scary to think who else could get in and out of the country using a different passport. It is most definitely a security risk.”
Lenesha, from New Cross, south east London, was going to Berlin for a weekend break with her mum Annette Murray, 62, and her friend, Angela Grant, 60.
She keeps her passport in a folder at home alongside Josiah’s and her six-year-old daughter’s.
She flew from Luton on Friday January 17 and says her passport was scanned when she boarded the plane without any problems – despite it not matching her boarding pass.
It was only when she got to Berlin and produced her passport to officials that she realised the mistake.
“It felt like my heart sank to my toes and I thought ‘oh my god’,” she said, adding she was almost refused entry to Germany.
Security officials at Berlin Airport told her that to fly back to the UK, she would need to acquire valid travel documents.
After looking into a courier service to bring her passport to Germany, it worked out cheaper for her to pay £186 to fly her cousin to Berlin with her passport.
An easyJet spokesperson said: “EasyJet works closely with all of our airports and partners to ensure the safety and security of all passengers and staff.
“We can confirm that the correct passport details had been submitted online in order to gain access to the boarding pass and Miss Riley went through full security screening ahead of the flight’s departure however, the additional visual check carried out prior to boarding should have picked up the passport issue.
“As such we are investigating how she was able to travel from Luton to Berlin with the incorrect documentation.
“easyJet offered a free of charge transfer to a later return flight so that arrangements could be made to obtain the correct documentation. The safety and security of our passengers and crew is the airline’s highest priority.”
A London Luton Airport spokesperson said: “At no point was security at the airport compromised, as all passengers and their luggage must undergo searches mandated by the Department for Transport.
“Airlines will typically check the passport of a passenger before boarding an aircraft.
“We’re working with easyJet to understand what happened on this occasion.”